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 • Forest-Llewellyn Cemetery
 • Kirksville
 • Adair County
 • Missouri
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Ora May Music
Birth: 1878
Adair County
Missouri, USA
Death: 1922

It is unknown to this writer why Ora's tombstone spells her last name as Music rather than the way her parents spelled the name - Musick. It appears to have been a mistake on the engraving of her tombstone.

From KIRKSVILLE JOURNAL dated November 23, 1922:

Miss Ora Musick, daughter of the late John Musick, author, and for many years a resident of Kirksville, died in a hospital in Lincoln, Neb. on November 15. The body, accompanied by her sister, Mrs. Hazel Hunt, and son, John Hunt, arrived here on Friday morning. A short funeral service was held at 10 p'clock that morning conducted by Rev. G. H. Cosper of the Methodist Church. Interment was at Forest Cemetery.

Miss Musick was born in Adair County and lived here until about 25 years ago when her family moved to Omaha, Neb. In addition to one sister, Mrs. Hunt, she is survived by her aunt, Mrs. G. A. Goben, of this city.

Ora was the daughter of John Roy Musick (1849-1901) and Augusta (Roszelle) Musick, both of whom are also buried at Forest-Llewellyn Cemetery in Kirksville, Missouri. Ora had one sister, Hazel (Musick) Hunt, born in 1884.

Ora was likely named after her maternal aunt Ora Belle (Roszelle) Goben (1849-1937), who was married to Dr. Grandison Algonon Goben who was a very influencial man in Kirksville, Missouri. He had two medical degrees and specialized in general surgery and diseases of women. He was a friend of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri. There is a photo of them together. Dr. Goben also served as a Captain in the Civil war. He was a Kirksville city councilman for several years and was 4 times elected Mayor of Kirksville. He owned over 1000 acres of land in differenet parts of Missouri. He was appointed to the State Board of Health by the Govenor of Missouri and served 11 years.

In the 1880 census of Kirksville, Adair County, Missouri, Ora was 1 year old, the only child in the home with her parents John Musick 31 and Augusta 22. John Musick was a lawyer at that time. However, her father later became a well-known author, publishing many books and articles. He graduated from the Kirksville Normal School and taught school for a short time before studying law. Later, he is listed in census records as a physician.

In 1900 Ora was listed in two different census records, one with her father in Kirksville, Adair County, Missouri on June 4, 1900, and another in Missouri Valley, Harrison County, Iowa, on June 14, 1900 with her mother who by then was a physician.

In the Kirksville census, Ora and her father were two of five boarders living in a boarding house on E. McPherson Street in Kirksville, Missouri, operated by Mr. and Mrs. J. O. Gooch. Ora's father was listed as "married" on this census and his occupation was author. Ora was 21 and her occupation was musician.

In the 1900 Iowa census, Augusta Musick was shown as Mrs. John Musick, a physician, residing with daughters Ora 21 and Hazel 17, both of whom were listed as attending school.

Ora's father died in Nebraska in 1901 but was returned to Kirksville for burial in the Forrest-Llewellyn Cemetery.

In the 1910 census, Ora was in Nebraska. She was listed as a 30-year-old boarder in the home of Eber and Ovelia Hilton on Oak Street in Plattsmouth, Cass County, Nebraska.

Also, in 1910, Ora's mother, Augusta P. Musick, is shown as a 51-year-old widow living in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, with her daughter Hazel M. (Musick) Hunt age 26 and Hazel's husband Asa Welling Hunt 35 (born 22 Apr 1875) a manager and buyer of carpet and rugs for a furniture store, and their son John Musick Hunt 4.

In the 1920 census of Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, Ora's mother is shown still living with her daughter Hazel (Musick) Hunt 36 and Hazel's husband A. W. Hunt 43 a furniture store owner, and their son John Musick Hunt 14.

In the 1920 census of Yankee Hill (near Lincoln), Lancaster County, Nebraska, there is an Ora Musick, age 39, listed as an inmate in the Nebraska State Hospital for the Insane. The fact that Ora's father was living in Nebraska in 1901 when he died, that Ora was living in that state in 1910, and that her sister and mother in 1920 were living in Omaha, Nebraska, makes it suspect that this is the correct Ora Musick, but this writer does not know for sure.

After this, it is unknown what happened to Ora until she died in 1922. She may have died in this institution. She is buried in Forest-Llewellyn Cemetery by her Roszelle grandparents, Rev. Edward Roszelle and Celia Ann (Jackson) Roszelle, and in the same plot with her parents and infant brother.

Dr. Augusta Musick died in 1921 in Omaha after practicing Osteopathy for 20 years. She was returned to Kirksville for burial by her husband.

Ora's sister Hazel was in the 1930 census still living in Omaha, Nebraska. She was 45, husband Asa Hunt was 55, a retail carpet merchant, and their son John M. was 25.

There is a record of Augusta Musick being buried in Forest-Llewellyn Cemetery in Kirksville, but there are no dates available, and so far, no tombstone can be found for either her or John Roy Musick. The cemetery listing shows Mr. and Mrs. Musick are buried in Section B-18 with their daughter Ora, infant son, and Augusta's parents. This writer has photographed this section and found no stone for them.

Biography of Ora's father, John Roy Musick:

John Roy Musick was born February 28, 1849, in St. Louis County, Missouri. His parents were Ephraim and Mary Musick. His parents moved to Adair County, Missouri, where John was still a boy. He attended rural schools then earned a Bachelor of Scientific Didactics from the First District Normal School in Kirksville in 1874 then taught school before reading law with a Kirksville attorney. While studying law, he published a short-lived newspaper (Jan-July 1875) in Kirksville called The Tattler. He passed the Bar exam in 1876 and practiced law until 1882 when he decided to become a full-time author. He had been a successful author of newspaper articles, poetry and historical short stories since his teens.

By 1882 however he gave up his law career to devote full time to literature. Mr. Musick was also very active in Republican Party politics from his college days onward. It was his involvement in the successful 1896 presidential campaign of William McKinley that earned him the nomination to the post of Consul to Siam (present-day Thailand). However he declined the honor, choosing to continue his writing career.

While still a teenager, John Musick had several poems and short stories published, some under humorous pseudonyms such as Benjamine Broadaxe and Ebenezer Slypole. After devoting his full attention and livelihood to writing he became quite a prolific author with some 139 works in 277 publications. His best known work is the 14-volume Columbian Historical Novels published in 1892 by Funk & Wagnalls. This series was hailed by world literary critics at the time as a bold step forward in the field of historical fiction as they explored the discovery and growth of north America through the use of fictional characters while paying strict detail to historical accuracy.

John Musick's most personal work was without doubt In the Whirl of the Tornado published in Century Magazine (August 1899), a detailed account of a large deadly tornado that destroyed much of Kirksville in April 1899. Although his home was spared, Mr. Musick was badly injured while attempting to rescue neighbors from the debris. He never fully recovered from the injuries and died in Omaha, Nebraska on April 14, 1901. John Musick is buried in Forest-Llewellyn Cemetery in Kirksville.

Note: In John Roy Musick's account of the Kirksville tornado in 1899 called "In the Whirl of the Tornado, A Personal Experience," he mentions finding shelter for his wife and two daughters. He also speaks of his mother and sisters living across the street from him, and that one of his sisters was blind. He never mentions being injured himself in the rescue effort, of which he was one of the first on the scene. This story can be read on the internet at:;cc=cent;idno=cent0058-4;node=cent0058-4%3A14;view=image;seq=603;size=100;page=root

John Roy Musick was a contemporary of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, founder of Osteopathic medicine in Kirksville, Missouri. John wrote articles about Dr. Still in the Osteopathic Journal. His wife Augusta graduated from Dr. Still's American School of Osteopathy in 1900.

- Information gathered by Blytha (Dennis) Ellis, Historian
Family links: 
  Augusta Priscilla Rozelle Musick (1858 - 1921)
  John Roy Musick (1849 - 1901)
Forest-Llewellyn Cemetery
Adair County
Missouri, USA
Plot: B-18
Created by: Blytha & Donald Ellis
Record added: Aug 11, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 74760858
Ora May Music
Added by: Blytha & Donald Ellis
Ora May Music
Added by: Blytha & Donald Ellis
Ora May Music
Added by: Blytha & Donald Ellis
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 Added: Mar. 1, 2013

- Blytha & Donald Ellis
 Added: Aug. 11, 2011
This page is sponsored by: Blytha & Donald Ellis

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